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Council Gets to Work Tuesday on Rezoning Ocean City

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Less than a week after the Planning Board approved an updated Master Plan, City Council will get to work on turning the recommendations into law.

At a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Council Chambers on the third floor of City Hall, City Council will consider the first reading of an ordinance that would make several zoning changes.

The changes were suggested in the Master Plan, a massive document that serves as a guideline for zoning and land-use decisions. The Planning Board approved a scheduled five-year update of the Master Plan on Oct. 17.

City Council's regularly scheduled Thursday meeting was moved up by two days because of the Halloween Parade scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.

Other rezoning recommendations will be considered at future meetings, but the zoning changes under consideration Tuesday are as follows:

Wawa property at Fourth Street and West Avenue: Rezone a half-block on the bay side of West Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets. At the corner of Fourth Street and West Avenue (on part of the vacant Wawa property), rezone an area with 40 feet of width on West Avenue and 100 feet of depth from Neighborhood Business to mixed commercial/residential use (commercial use on the first floor and residences above). Rezone the remainder of the half-block from Neighborhood Business to residential (R-2-30 or duplexes with 30-foot frontages). (The vacant property has been part of a long zoning debate.)

Peter Lumber Company property at 15th Street and Haven Avenue: Rezone from commercial (Drive-In Business) to residential (R-1-30 or single-family homes with 30-foot frontages). The Ocean City location of the lumber company has been vacant for more than a year.

New designations for multi-family zoning: The Master Plan provides Residential Multi-Family zoning in areas where “major scale” developments existed (in 1988) including the area adjacent to the central business district between Sixth and 14th streets. The Master Plan designates public multi-family housing in locations where the Ocean City Housing Authority maintains such housing north of Fifth Street. To be more consistent, the Master Plan re-examination recommends:

  • Rezoning parts of the 300 block of Haven Avenue from North End Neighborhood to Residential Multi-Family.
  • Rezoning the 1200 block of Wesley Avenue from Residential Multi-Family to R-2-30 (or duplexes with 30-foot frontages).
  • Rezoning the 1300 block of Wesley Avenue from Residential Multi-Family to R-2-30 (or duplexes with 30-foot frontages).
  • Rezoning parts of the beach block of Brighton Place from Residential Multi-Family to Corinthian 2-40/4000 (or duplexes with 40-foot frontages).
vic October 23, 2012 at 04:15 AM
eric, i'm shocked. weren't you aware of all the problems that were occurring at the wawa. why do you think they closed? where did the last shooting in ocean city occur? where were the drug dealings going down? the goons that hung out at the wawa were terrorizing the neighborhood
Duffer October 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM
Go look at Avalon and Stone Harbor and you will see what Ocean City would have looked like with a little less greed in the zoning laws.
cscs October 24, 2012 at 01:39 AM
More stores, more duplexes. Is that really what Ocean city needs? I agree with Duffer. Next we'll be zoning for roof top parking because where else are we going to park the cars. You can't even go to the boardwalk or the Music Pier because you can't find a parking space. And you don't need stores to attract year round residents. Yes, I'm just one of those summer resident who lives in a year round town with only 3 stores and a farm stand. But guess what, when I have friends and family over, there's room for them to park.
Eric Sauder October 24, 2012 at 02:18 AM
My point is Vic that Wawa did not produce crime. It was victimized by it. That element will exist regardless of whether or not there is a convenience store there.
Eric Sauder October 24, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Besides which, as I pointed out earlier, it was the money to be made from developing that site that was the motivating factor in all of this, supported by property owners that are non-conforming. I respect your intelligence Vic. For every property that gets re-developed in Ocean City there's an plethora of excuses for doing it. The real reason isn't the one you're going to hear. If it's such a bad neighborhood should we be building residences there?

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